UK truckers suffer major losses over Calais chaos: industry body

24th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

British haulage firms are losing £750,000 (one million euros, $1.2 million) a day due to delays crossing the Channel caused by disruption in France, an industry spokesman said Friday.

Striking ferry staff from France's MyFerryLink have caused delays in recent weeks for British truckers wanting to cross the Channel or waiting in northeastern France to come back.

Thousands of would-be illegal migrants are also camping out around the French port town of Calais. Many have tried to climb aboard trucks travelling to Britain on ferries or the nearby Channel Tunnel shuttle train, causing a string of disruptions.

British police have activated a plan christened Operation Stack to tackle the delays which involves making thousands of British trucks queue on the M20 motorway when services are disrupted.

The plan has been activated for 19 days over the last three months.

James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the Freight Transport Association industry body, called the queues "horrendous".

"It is simply not acceptable that industrial action in France can cause such chaos which is impacting on the British economy," he said.

"Calais has to be made a strike-free zone so that cross-Channel traffic can start moving again and Operation Stack can be lifted as soon as possible."

© 2015 AFP

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